The EQ button cycles through three choices of Low, Normal, and High and adjusts the music accordingly. Likewise the 3D button toggles on and off the stereo enhancement effect.
Now, normally we steer well clear of such settings as we find they seldom improve sound quality. However, on this occasion we could quite happily listen with any of the options selected. Quickly switching between the Low, High, and Normal settings does highlight the differences making you think Low sounds muffled and High, a bit shrill, but once you’ve become accustomed to each they’re all acceptable.
Even more impressive is the 3D setting that spreads out the soundstage far wider and deeper than the R2’s size would ever have you believe it was capable of. Instruments are easier to pinpoint, vocals are projected out towards you, and ambients seem appropriately distant and surrounding. For more intimate listening we’d recommend you keep it turned off as the effect doesn’t work so well at low volumes. For when you want to crank the volume up, though, this is a useful way to create a more room-filling sound.
Of course, while the addition of effective sound enhancements is welcome, it’s the overall sound quality that is most important, which is way Vita Audio will be relieved to hear me tell you the R2 does indeed sound superb. Where the R1 was great for close-quarters listening, the R2 can truly fill a room with luscious, warm, powerful sound that, regardless of genre, complexity, or tempo is an utter pleasure to listen to. Bass is strong and defined, mids are punchy and smooth, and the clarity at the top end is exceptional.
In fact, the only problem we could find was not with the R2 itself but with the inevitable noise from a poor quality radio signal. With the amp so wonderfully reproducing every nuance of the signal, whistles, pops, and high frequency chatter are also accurately blasted out at you with full force. In FM mode, there is an option to switch to mono mode to compensate for this slightly but this is compromising in its own way. Ultimately, you should probably check the quality of the DAB signal in your area before plumping for such an expensive device.
The Vita Audio R2 is the perfect solution for anyone who wants a stylish, compact DAB radio that doesn’t compromise on sound quality and has the power to deliver enough volume to fill a sizeable room. It may not have some of the features of other devices and, at this price point, this inevitably affects its overall score. If, however, you’re simply after a DAB radio that sounds great, then look no further.
Score in detail